South African Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):274-290 (2002)

Hans-Georg Gadamer's contribution to hermeneutics can be summarized in a nut shell in his thesis that there is a “wirkungsgeschichtliche” dimension in all understanding. In this article I make four remarks on the meaning of this concept. Firstly: the universal claim of Gadamer does not claim to describe the totality of understanding, but only an essential and forgotten dimension. Secondly: there are three ascending perspectives on art, tradition and speaking that constitute together the Wirkungsgeschichte. Every one of them demonstrates that understanding is not primarily an action of objectification, but a happening of participation. Thirdly: there are similar thinking patterns by different philosophers that demonstrate that Gadamer's concept of the Wirkungsgeschichte is not so new and strange. Lastly: Gadamer's use of Aristotle's concept of phronesis or judgement (practical reasoning) is the concretization of the Wirkungsgeschichte and his great contribution to hermeneutics. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.21(4) 2002: 274-290
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DOI 10.4314/sajpem.v21i4.31352
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Philosophische Lehrjahre.H. Gadamer - 1978 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 40 (3):526-526.

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